By Jeff Andrew Lule
Eddy Kenzo, the president of the recently-established Uganda National Musicians Federation (UNMF), has denied allegations that the organisation has political goals for the NRM, the country’s ruling party.
In an interview with a local television station, Kenzo stated that the goal of the federation is to unite all musicians so they can more easily fight for their rights, engage the Government and push for their interests like other professions.
“Anyone who tries to introduce politics won’t stop us from pursuing our goal because we are not politicians, and the results will be seen in due time. Although they can say anything, it is best to give things time. I have faith that God will work with us to let the people know who is who. There is no justification for saying all of this. Just give it some time and let’s see where it goes,” he continued.
Kenzo observed that all systems are dysfunctional and that musicians have nowhere to run to.
“I receive nothing from call back tunes; also, the Uganda Communication Commissions (UCC) and the Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS) are both inactive. There is still no copyright law to protect our intellectual property. So, who should I sit down with to work out my problems? Should I go to the opposition to fight the Government, or should I just stay at home?” he pondered.
Given the current circumstances at hand with the industry, they realised they needed to sit down with the authorities and engage them.
“We don’t care whose government is in charge, but because we are not politicians, we shall continue with those who come. All we want is to organise our work like everyone else. You cannot simply set up shop in Nakasero and get to work, but you have to first go to a certain office. Even taxis and bodabodas have structures where one must go if they want to enter the same industry,” Kenzo continued.
Sheebah Karungi, also known as Queen Karma, Kenzo’s deputy, stated that although they cannot alter people’s attitudes, the truth will soon be revealed, that they are just fighting for the progress of their music business.
“We came to the realisation that while at work we might not be best friends, we can still be on the same boat that helps the business and our children,” she added.